Taking care of your pet means not only feeding them a healthy, nutritious diet but also understanding which foods are poisonous and potentially dangerous for your furry companion. Dogs in particular can be severely affected when given certain foods, all of which may not be obviously poisonous. Here are 8 foods to avoid giving your pet pooch.

Onions and garlic are incredibly toxic

1) Grapes and raisins. When eaten as part of your own diet, grapes are considered to be very healthy along with other fruits. However, if fed to a dog grapes can be highly toxic due to a toxin that can cause liver and kidney failure within canines.

2) Most of us like to treat ourselves to chocolate and therefore assume that it will be just a delicious treat for our dog. However, when fed to dogs chocolate can poison your dog’s heart, central nervous system and kidneys. This poisoning is due to a stimulant found within chocolate called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine. Theobromine poisoning usually occurs around 4-24 hours after ingestion of chocolate and is recognisable through vomiting, diarrhoea, restlessness and potential fits or seizures.

3) Onions, garlic and chives. These vegetables and the herb chive can cause uncomfortable gastrointestinal (stomach and gut) irritation for your dog, which could eventually lead to red blood cell damage in addition. Onions and garlic are incredibly toxic and can cause severe illness which will become apparent a couple of days after the initial ingestion.

4) Cooked bones. Although raw bones are good for your dog – promoting nutritional and dental health within your pet- cooked bones should be avoided at all costs. Cooked bones can easily splinter as your dog chews them, which shards causing damage internally to your dog’s digestive system, mouth and throat.

5) Avocado- Again, when eaten by humans avocados are incredibly rich in vitamins and nutritional goodness. However, avocados contain a substance known as Persin which is particularly harmful to dogs. If poisoned by persin your dog will show signs of congestion such as difficulty breathing and an accumulation of fluid around the heart.

6) Macadamia nuts- Macadamia nuts hold a toxin that will have adverse effects on your dog’s movement and sense of balance. If your dog has digested macadamia nuts you may notice signs of weakness, swelling of limbs, panting and tremors. There may also be damage to your dog’s digestive, nervous and muscle systems too.

7) Corn on the cob. Although, this vegetable may seem like a healthy after-dinner scrap to feed to your pet it can actually cause a serious intestinal blockage. This is because the cob part is not easily digested by a dog’s stomach and due to its size and shape it can easily become wedged. If your dog has eaten corn on the cob and is displaying signs of vomiting, loss of appetite, reduced or absent faeces or any other signs of digestive and abdominal discomfort then you should contact your vet immediately.

8) Raw fish. If your dog regularly eats quantities of raw fish it can result in a vitamin B deficiency which will cause loss of appetite and seizures.

If you think your dog may have been poisoned by any of the foods mentioned above you should seek advice from your vet as soon as possible.